A total of 20 high school seniors from the Westside were awarded scholarships from the Westlands Water District.

“Westlands is honored to support the educational journey of some of our region’s outstanding youth for the 18th year,” said Allison Febbo, the Westlands Water District General Manager. “Recognizing that education can be expensive, we hope to help reduce barriers for students in our communities to pursue college and career paths so that they can achieve their dreams. These talented students are the ones who will define the future of the Central Valley.”

Febbo explained that each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship, and she called the recipients “the future leaders in education, healthcare, business, and science.” 

In their application, the students were asked about the importance of agriculture and water in the San Joaquin Valley.

One of the recipients, Angela Rosa of Firebaugh High School, is planning to attend Fresno State and major in Biology.  She has been involved in Ag at her high school, volunteering for the annual Ag Awareness Day, “to ensure young children know and understand the opportunities agricultural jobs provide.”

Rosa realized at a young age the importance of Ag, noting that her father has worked all his life in the industry.

“Once I grew older, I realized the importance of agriculture in our community, and how it helped my father stay secure, so I became involved in agriculture at our school.

“Although it might seem that agriculture affected my life negatively because of the circumstances we faced, without my father working in this field, we would not have a home,” Rosa added. “So for that I encourage agricultural education because this is a pathway that will always be secure in California.”

Four students from Mendota High School received the Westlands scholarship, including Cherrilyn Ruiz, who will attend UCLA to become a pediatrician.

Ruiz said across the Valley, many families rely on agriculture jobs to make ends meet and create better prospects for their loved ones.

“It’s a testament to their hard work and dedication to providing for their families while contributing to the agricultural industry’s vitality.”

Westlands Water District is recognized as a world leader in agricultural water conservations and has served the farmers and rural communities on the Westside of Fresno and Kings counties for more than five decades.

David Borboa